Mott Schmidt Biography

Townhouses and Apartments
by Mark Alan Hewitt

The quiet excellence of Mott Schmidt's townhouses and apart­ments goes largely unnoticed today. Nevertheless, they stand as testaments to a shared urban vision that characterizes the American Renaissance (1876-1917). Schmidt should be remembered as one of the key architects in the late development of the town house type in New York. His innovations in planning for a more compact, functional family and service organization proved that the centuries­ old formula for the urban house need not be discounted, even in the machine age. The facades of Schmidt's houses are further proof of the viability of the "terrace" house, where individual dwellings in a coherently designed row obey not only their own order but that of the block. Understanding this, the architect was able to successfully apply urban housing principles to the unfamiliar territory of Coral Gables.